09:00 - 26 May 2005
A charitable trust is one option being considered by Kerrier Council as it looks at ways of safeguarding the future of Portreath's historic harbour.
In recent years the Grade II listed structure has become a drain on council funds, with almost £20,000 spent on repairs to the pier last year, and more needed this year.
Graeme Hicks, Kerrier's portfolio holder for the environment, believes a long-term solution must be found.
He said: "Last year we allocated £18,000 and there'll be more this year. It's throwing money on the fire really, but we've got to do it, it's a Grade II Listed structure.
"There are a lot of options on the table. It's all very well selling these things off, but some company will come in, asset strip it, and then the district council will still be left responsible to take enforcement action when something goes wrong.
"Personally, I'm very keen on the charitable trust idea. I think a trust would be able to draw down grant funding.
"Clearly, we've got a duty to make sure public money isn't thrown into a bottomless pit, but we will not do anything without consulting local people - the fishermen, residents, the parish council, the improvements committee - that's a guarantee."
Chris Watts, chairman of the parish council, believes a charitable trust is an idea worth further investigation, but says the first step has to be a feasibility study.
He said: "The feasibility study would look at returning it back into a working harbour, with the aim of bringing in employment, more tourism and generally regenerating the local area and most importantly making the harbour self-maintaining, and even once again become a profitable business that will help Portreath as opposed to cause concern."
In the early nineteenth century Portreath harbour provided a gateway for the mining parishes of Gwennap, Illogan, Redruth and Camborne. It had its own tram road and railway, and was the base for such industries as fishing and shipbuilding. Today, the harbour survives largely thanks to its appeal as a tourism attraction.
Mr Watts's vision for the harbour includes investment in the overall structure, an extension to the breakwater to Horse Rock, the building of a dockside facility for storage tanks and bait freezers, two lock gate installations to enable deep water moorings, and the building of a 70-plus berth marina in the inner harbour.
He said: "We have an opportunity to turn around the fortunes of Portreath harbour, with financial funding from Government, Kerrier Council, Europe and Lottery grants, and with the support of residents, I and others believe it is possible."
Story by Julian Ridge
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Today there is to be an exercise by the Royal Marines to simulate an attack on RAF Portreath. The Royal Navy are involved as the Marines are using HMS Ocean as their launch platform. There will be a good deal of low flying helicopters and the beach could be used for landings of the Marine forces, although most activities will be at RAF Portreath.
Keep your heads down locals!!
Keep your heads down locals!!